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*This article was originally written by Terry in 2019; he passed on in 2021.

9:48 AM, Sunday, December 7, 1941. Imperial Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on that day. That began the hysteria of the Seattle community and the United States against the people of Japanese ancestry.

On February 19, 1942, the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, issued Executive Order 9066 which enabled the military broad powers to incarcerate these people who lived on the West Coast.

Twelve young boys, from different backgrounds, who were in these concentration camps, moved to Seattle after the war, where they met and formed a sports club named “The Midgets”. They played basketball, baseball, and football together and enjoyed a lifelong friendship.

By 2019, only three of the original twelve “Midgets” remained: Yosh Nakagawa, Terry Shibata, Tom Kusakabe. To honor their club and its memories, bricks with their names were laid on the Nisei Veterans Memorial Wall on Saturday, October 19, 2019.

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Please view the bricks and names of “The Midgets”: Keishi Echigo, John Susumi Fujii, George Hiroshi Kobata, Tomio Tom Kusakabe, Sekio Glenn Matsumoto, Kenzo Moriguchi, Yoshitada Yosh Nakagawa, Bob Takakatsu Namba, Teruo Terry Shibata, Arthur Watanabe, Robert Haruo Yamada, and Tom Minoru Yamaguchi.

 

Photo:  Coaches Hiromi Heyamoto, Gene Boyd, Shobo Frank Fujii, Sei Adachi seated in front with “The Midgets” standing behind (not pictured: George Kobata)